City of LaGrange employee honored for 30 years of service

Published 6:00 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

The City of LaGrange is honoring Keith Hester, the city’s water superintendent, for his dedicated 30 years of service, according to a press release from the city.

Hester plans to begin retirement March 21. Hester was hired by the city in 1989 as a water plant mechanic. Within a few short years, he became a water plant operator and received his certification from the state of Georgia. Keith worked hard and quickly learned the details of running the city’s large and complex surface water treatment plant — a plant built over six decades with many differing types of equipment and technologies. During this time, Keith also continued to study at LaGrange College in pursuit of a college degree. He was quickly promoted to chief operator and then assistant superintendent. Following the retirement of Walt Williams in 1998, Hester became the city’s water superintendent. 

As superintendent, Hester is responsible for over 20,000 water customers throughout Troup County and wholesale water service to the cities of Hogansville, West Point and Greenville.  In 2018, the water division produced and distributed over 1.9 billion gallons of water with revenues of $10 million.

Hester and his staff worked tirelessly to ensure the City complied with an ever-growing list of Federal and State regulations, and the plant consistently scores above 90 percent in state inspections, which is in the category of “outstanding performance.” 

 “The City of LaGrange is a great place to work,” Hester said. “Great people work above and below you, and I’ve personally been supported by many people throughout my career. The city continues to have a terrific vision for the future.”

LaGrange is a member of the less than 1 percent of communities in the United States to receive a fire protection rating of Class 2 or better, and the improvements Hester has made to the water system have contributed greatly to this accomplishment.

“Keith’s leadership and calm demeanor have created a culture of high productivity and excellent customer service within the water division. He’s been an excellent manager and greatly improved the City’s water system during his tenure,” Utilities Director Patrick Bowie said. “The number of customers has grown by over 40 percent and customer satisfaction has remained at a high level. We want to thank Keith for his 30 years of dedicated service to the City of LaGrange.”